Guide Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism

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His studies in Classics and Philosophy at Oxford, however, guided and shaped all of his subsequent scholarship.

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After receiving his D. Steven Collins is well-known for the many important books and articles that he published. He left at the time of his death a manuscript on the topic of the varieties and civilizational place of wisdom and on Buddhist practices of the self; it is expected that this will be published posthumously. He was central to graduate studies at the University of Chicago not only in his own department, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, but also in the programs in History of Religions and Philosophy of Religions at the Divinity School there.

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He was also a dedicated member of the Pali Text Society Council for many years and he often worked behind the scenes bringing work to publication on behalf of others; this included preparing for publication the last work of Miss I. Horner, long-time President of the P. Coupled with the fact that he would typically look rather pained in expressing his query Steve was fond of saying in this regard that he simply found it painful to think , the incisiveness of his questions surely made many a learned scholar uncomfortable; but while they might thus occasion some squirming, his questions were unfailingly fair, pertinent, interesting, and strikingly smart.

Steven Collins could appear to be intellectually irascible at times, but he was also a very kind man. Many, including myself, know just how varied and skillful his acts of kindness were. He had a gentle ability to encourage others even at moments of their sharpest self-doubts and insecurities, feelings all-too-familiar to many students and scholars.


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I always felt I could do whatever I put my mind to and that my work was worth continuing and sharing after I spoke with him. This means that his legacy to philosophical study is not limited to the arguments of such works as Selfless Persons, as important as these continue to be for the philosophical investigation of and reflection on the self and personal identity.

It is common to find anthropologists, sociologists, intellectual historians and others, as well as philosophers, using philosophical terminology of categories of thought to refer to the more or less fundamental ideas, concepts, or simply patterns of thinking which are found in different cultures and different historical periods. The purpose of this chapter is to examine what Durkheim and Mauss might have meant by speaking in this way; and secondarily to raise some general issues relevant to the use of this philosophical vocabulary in cultural or social description and analysis.

Selfless Persons Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism by Collins Steven - AbeBooks

Quite regularly, Collins turned to contemporary French thinkers for sustained orientation towards the fundamental categories that he wanted to understand better. His scholarly legacy is thus a resource not only for those interested in the study of Buddhism, but for all those concerned with Philosophy in the twenty-first century.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. From the Back Cover : This book seeks to explain carefully and sympathetically the Buddhist doctrine of anatta 'not-self' , which denies the existence of any self, soul or enduring essence in human beings.

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